Magicians' Biographies - Letter B

Read about the mysterious "Clairvoyant Queen",
the magician who wore his mustache upside-down,
magic family dynasties and more!

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Bacon, Roger
(?-?) Thirteenth century English author who coined the phrase "The hand is quicker than the eye".
Bagshawe, Edward
(1902-1940) English magician, author, inventor and magic dealer. Credited with inventing the Reverso Deck as well as the currently used paper version of Out To Lunch. He published a number of magic periodicals, including Magical Monthly and Magical Journal. His magic shop, Bagshawe & Co., operated in London from 1921 through 1940, when it was purchased by Davenport's after Bagshawe's 1940 suicide death.
Bailey, Mr.
(?-?) British magician who traveled the East Coast of the United States during the late 1700s and performed "without the use of pockets, bags or sleeves", quite a departure from the performance style of his day.
Bailey, Samuel W.
(1875-1935) Founder of Bailey & Tripp, maker of magic apparatus.

Baird, Bill
(1914-1978) One of the greatest billiard ball manipulators of all time. Real name was William Keckritz.
Baker, Al
(1874-1951) Legendary magician and magical inventor. Third Dean of the Society of American Magicians.
Baker, Caroll
(b. 1931) Oscar-nominated American actress who got her start as a magician's assistant in the early 1950's.
(1857-1906) (birthday August 20) Swedish born magician who had his own full evening show at an early age, billed as "The Swedish Wonder" or "The Boy Magician". Sucessfully toured US and South America. Killed by an exploding gas stage light.
(?-?) Italian performer, exhibitor (like Robert-Houdin) of automata. Early 1800s.
Balducci, Edmund Mariano
(1906-1988) New York City magician for whom the popular Balducci Self-Levitation principle is named, and inventor of the Balducci Wallet
Baldwin, David M.
(b. 1929) American magician and magic historian. The David Baldwin collection is one of the finest private collections of important magic apparatus in the world. Also published The Great Raymond, a comprehensive work about the famous magic performer.
Baldwin, Clara
(1852-?) First wife and stage partner of Samri Baldwin, often taking the part of the "psychic" in their two-person mindreading act. She helped him build a wildly popular act exposing the fraudulent Spiritualist mediums of the day.
Baldwin, Kitty
(1853-1934) Second wife and stage partner of Samri Baldwin. She performed as Kitty Baldwin, then as Kate Russell "The Clairvoyant Queen".
Baldwin, Samri S.
(1848-1924) Billed himself as "The White Mahatma"; created the question-and-answer mentalism act.
Baldwin, Shadow
(?-?) Daughter of Samri and Kitty Baldwin. Had a brief career as a professional psychic until Houdini's anti-spiritualism campaign ruined her business.
Ball, John
Magician and author of In the Heat of the Night
Read the biography of John Ball- see image!
Ballantine, Carl
(1917-2009) (birthday September 27) American born Meyer Kessler; hilarious comedy magician and actor (best known for his role on McHale's Navy). Though an accomplished magician, on stage he often posed as a totally inept and clumsy performer. He appeared on the 6/10/51 and 12/26/54 broadcasts of the TV program Toast of the Town, the early version of the Ed Sullivan Show.
Balles, George
(?-?) American late 19th century traveling magician who specialized in "magic with a message", also called "ministry magic" or "gospel magic". One of his posters reads "Magic With a Meaning. A Novel and Unique Entertainment. Consisting of a brilliant array of magical experiments and scientific problems. The many wonderful effects that are to be seen are used to illustrate different truths." He was assisted by his guinea pig, Buster.
Bamberg, David
(1904-1974)(birthday February 19) Seventh generation magician. Son of Theo (Okito). Born in Great Britain, raised in the U.S. Gained much of his experience touring with the Raymond show, doing a Shadowgraphy act. Later toured with his own show, as Fu Manchu, with most of his work in South America
Bamberg, David Leendert
(1786-1869) Third generation magician. Son of Eliaser. Holland-born. Began his career as assistant to his father, but later had great success on his own. Most known for his Egg Bag routine, with the climax being the production of a live chicken from the bag.
Bamberg, David Tobias
(1843-1914) (birthday August 9) Fifth generation magician. Son of Tobias. Holland-born. Like his father and grandfather, became court magician to Holland's Royal Family.
Bamberg, Eduard
(1889-1951) (birthday July 23) Holland-born son of David Tobias, started as assistant to his father, billed as "Nelusco". Worked his own show in the U.S. as "Ed Rickard".
Bamberg, Eliaser
(1760-1833) Second generation magician. Son of Jasper. Holland-born. His unfortunate loss of a leg during wartime turned into an advantage after he had his false leg specially fitted with secret compartments.
Bamberg, Emile
(1760-1833) Holland-born son of David Tobias, started as assistant to his father, later with his own show.
Bamberg, Jasper
(1698-1780) The original Bamberg. Holland-born. Like many of his contemporaries, he not only performed sleight-of-hand magic but occult magic as well.
Bamberg, Theo
(1875-1963) (birthday July 15) Sixth generation magician. Son of David Tobias. Holland-born. Became famous as OKITO, performing a silent act as an Oriental magician. He developed a silent act to compensate for the fact that he was deaf. Also originated a number of magic effects including the Okito Coin Box.
Bamberg, Tobias
(1812-1870) (birthday November 11) Fourth generation magician. Son of David Leendert. Holland-born. As was his father, he was court magician to Holland's Royal Family. His fluency in four languages made him very successful.
Bancroft, Frederick
(1867-1897) (birthday November 3) American magician, a flighty, impatient performer whose brief but very colorful career was cut short when he died of typhoid fever.
(?-?) French magician who billed himself as a "prestidigitator, phonographist and electrician". With electricity still a new invention, he was one of a number of magicians who featured the wonders of electricity as an entertainment. During an 1883 tour of Europe, he advertised himself as "an illusionist and anti-spiritualist".
Barley, Milton
(?-?) English actor who played the part of "Bosco" for a time in the LeRoy-Talma-Bosco act.
Barnett, Daphne Lucille
English female magician, child star and major magic book collector
Read the biography of Lucille Barnett- see images and video!
Barton, James
"El Barto" with a long career on the Lyceum circuit
Read the biography of James Barton- see images!
Basch, Ernst
(1838-1908) German magician, son of Hirsch Basch and part of the Basch magical dynasty. Performed professionally from 1860 until 1887, when he opened a magic shop in Hannover, Germany, where he also made magical props. He was most known for performing the Magic Lantern and Pepper's Ghost effects. His son-in-law, Hermann Mellini, then inherited the magic business.
Basch, Friederich Joseph
(1833-1877) German magician, son of Hirsch Basch and part of the Basch magical dynasty.
Basch, Heinrich
(1841-1876) German magician, son of Hirsch Basch and part of the Basch magical dynasty. Toured with his phantasmagora show, and later built magical props behind the scenes. Most successful of the Basch brothers as a performing magician; also the eldest. Started as an assistant to Hermann Mellini's father.
Basch, Wilhelm
(?-?) German magician, father of the Basch magical dynasty, and traveling magician.
Beale, Ken
(?-1979) Card magician and author, specializing in mathematical effects and deck stacking.
Beaufort, Douglas
(1864-1939) British magician (real name Douglas Broad), prominent society entertainer and stage performer. In the 1890's he joined a British mission to Morocco as a magician (his task being to demonstrate the superiority of European magic over native magic), a function performed by Robert-Houdin for the French government twenty years prior.
Beaumont, Count
(?-?) American magician on the vaudeville circuit in the early 1900s. From Pennsylvania. Was accused by Doc Nixon of renting magic equipment from him, then having the equipment duplicated, secretly shipping the real equipment to his wife for storage and returning the duplicates to Nixon. The incident was dropped when the real equipment was returned.
Vaudeville comedy magician with his dog Spike as his assistant
Read the biography of Becker- see images!
Bee, Percy
(1905-1973) British magician and author noted for his controversial articles on magic presentation published in Abracadabra.
(1828-1885) Poland-born Samuel Berlach, Court Entertainer for Germany's Emperor Wilhelm I, he was most noted for the production of eggs from the mouth of an assistant.
Vaudeville magician billed as one of the "Hungarian Necromancers"
Read the biography of Bellag- see image!
Bellini, Ernesto
(?-?) Italian magician and stage mentalist, early 1900s.
Ben Ali Bey
German illusionist Max Auzinger, who developed the Black Art act
Read the biography of Max Auzinger- see images!
Benevol, François
(1865-1939) Italian magician (real name Francesco Benevolo). His career spanned nearly forty years, and he performed a wide variety of magical routines, including coin manipulations with gloved hands, and a mindreading segment featuring his assistants "Jeniska" or "Mme. Lucile". In fact, he often travelled with a full evening show of spiritualism and mental feats. His most famous shows, however, featured a grisly and effective Guillotine illusion called "Le Coupeur de TĂȘte". Coincidentally, he died on May 29, 1939- the last day before the guillotine was outlawed as a method of capital punishment in France.
(b. ?) American magician and magic historian. Has done much work in researching, locating and restoring the gravesites of magic notables, including Alexander Herrmann, Signor Blitz and Harry Houdini.
Benson, Roy
(1915-1978) American magician (real name E.F.E. McQuade, who started his career in nightclubs with an act that strongly borrowed from Fred Keating, both in routine and in delivery. Soon he developed his own smooth style, but his multifaceted talents led him to further branch out, first in movie special effects development (he made the monsters for a number of B-movies, including The Flesh Eaters) and then in special effects for stage (he was the magical consultant for the Broadway hit Carnival! in the early 1960s). He also became a special effects photographer, even taking the photos used in the Dark Shadows ViewMaster slides. He is the subject of Roy Benson By Starlight (2007) by Levent and Todd Karr. He appeared on the 8/8/54 broadcast of the TV program Toast of the Town, the early version of the Ed Sullivan Show.
Berg, Joe
(1903-1984) American magic dealer (Chicago and Hollywood) and inventor of several popular effects, including the Ultra Mental Deck (Invisible Deck).
Berg, Russell O.
(?-?) American magician on the Redpath Chautauqua circuit around 1910. Performed as half of the Razoux-Berg Company magic act with partner Paul H. Razoux.
Bergeron, Bev
(b. ?) American comedy magician and author. Began his career with Willard the Wizard; also played Rebo the Clown on Mark Wilson's TV program, The Magic Land of Alacazam. Past President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Berggren, J.R.
(?-?) Magician (card manipulator) who appeared on the 7/31/55 broadcast of the TV program Toast of the Town, the early version of the Ed Sullivan Show.
Berglas, David
(?-?) Well-known British magician and mentalist. Past President of the Magic Circle. Father of Marvin Berglas, magician and magic company president.
Berkel, Betty
(?-?) Wife and stage partner of comedy magician Odips.
Berland, Sam
(?-?) Magic dealer and inventor of popular effects and routines, especially using thimbles and dice.
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.
Bertram, Charles
(1853-1907) British magician, called the Court Conjurer, a favorite of King Edward VII. His famous phrase, "Isn't it wonderful?" also became the title of his autobiography.
Bertram, Ross
(1912-1992) Canadian magician, born John Ross Bertram. Considered to be one of the world's finest close-up magicians using his own innovative techniques, particularly with coins. Was a pioneer in the field of trade show magic. For more information, see The Magic and Methods of Ross Bertram and Bertram on Sleight of Hand.
Bey, Rahman
(?-?) Presenting himself as an Egyptian mystic, this Italian performer set the first recognized record for an "underwater burial". In July 1926, Bey was sealed into a metal box and remained underwater in New York's Dalton Hotel pool for an hour. In August 1926, Houdini performed his own version of the stunt, "Buried Alive", remaining sealed in a casket for 91 minutes in the pool of New York's Shelton Hotel.
Bishop, Washington Irving
(1856-1889) (birthday March 4) American magician who specialized in feats of mindreading, muscle reading and demonstration of "psychic phenomena". He is bestknown for the bizarre manner in which he died, however.
Bixlerix, Prof.
(?-?) Belgian magician performing in Paris during the late 1800s. Specialized in "the demonstration of scientific mysteries" (probably mindreading).
(?-1941) Italian magician who performed an Indian fakir act. Billed as "The Man Who Amuses You With Death". Much of his act consisted of handling live venomous snakes. He also frequently performed versions of the "Buried Alive" illusion. He was successful enough to inspire copycat acts- in 1929, a magician using the Blacaman name suffocated while attempting the live burial routine.
Black Carl
See William Carl
Black Dante
See William Carl
Black Herman
Famous African American magician who combined magic with a strong separatist political message
Read the biography of Black Herman- see images!
Blackledge, J. Elder
(1891-1961) American Lyceum magician who inspired a young Walter Gibson, was a student of Maro, performed several times for Franklin Roosevelt.
Blackman, Al
(?-?) In the mid-1900's, his was the largest collection of magic magazines and references of the time. His collection was disbursed in the mid-1950s.
Blackstone, Harry Sr.
(1885-1965) Legendary American stage magician. Born Harry Boughton, he started as one half of a vaudeville comedy act with his brother, Pete Bouton. Along with his long stage career, he co-founded Blackstone's Magic Co. with Percy Abbott in 1929. He is credited with creating classic routines for the Dancing Handkerchief, the Vanishing Bird Cage, the Buzz Saw, and of course, the Floating Light Bulb. Many feel that he was the best example of what a magician should be. His first professional job was at the Windsor Novelty Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. Subsequently, he worked with Nicol as half of an act called Bouton and Kelso. Around 1906, he was billed as LeRoy Bouton. He once filled in a date for C. Porter Norton, appearing under Norton's name. His son, Harry Blackstone Jr., became an equally famous stage magician. Harry Blackstone Sr.'s grave is in Lakeside Cemetery in Colon, Michigan.
Blackstone, Harry Jr.
(1934-1997) Famous and successful contemporary American stage magician. As well as extensively touring with his version of his father's stage show, he was also an actor (with a number of roles to his credit, frequently as a magician character) and a producer (Broadway's Hair, TV's Smothers Brothers). His dramatic flair and powerful stage presence made him an unforgettable performer. Wife Gay and daughter Bellamie continue to perform. He is buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Colon, Michigan.
Blackton, J. Stuart
(1875-1941) British American magician who specialized in chalk talk (the Komical Kartoonist) and "lightening sketches" with vaudeville magician partners Albert E. Smith and Ronald Reader. They were the three founding partners in 1897 of Vitagraph Movie Company. As a cartoonist/reporter for the New York World, he interviewed Thomas Edison, who inspired him to go into the movie business. Blackton worked in all creative capacities, and is considered to be the Father of American animation. Sold Vitagraph to Warner Brothers in 1925, but lost his fortune in the stock market crash of 1929. Married actress Evangeline Wood, and died in a car accident in 1941.
Blaeser, Andrew
?-?) American magician, half of the act of The Duval Brothers, along with Ade Duval, performing on the Lyceum circuit in the early 1920s. Retired in 1924 to lead a "regular" life.
Blaine, David
(b. 1973) American magician, real name David Blaine White, who popularized the "in-your-face" performance style known as Street Magic with his series of very successful television specials which featured his now famous Self Levitation effect as well as the Bitten Quarter trick.
Blake, George
(1893-1979) British magician, author and founder of the first British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Bland, Joseph
(?-?) Italian-born magician and magic dealer, real name Giuseppe Bolasco. Owned Bland's Magical and Conjuring Repository, a London magic shop, from 1855 until 1899. Published a catalog, Mr. Bland's Illustrated Catalogue of Conjuring and Magical Apparatus, in 1865. Sold the shop to Hamley's. Wrote a book on Chapeaugraphy.
(?-1889) Real name David Batents. One of the many imitators of Signor Blitz who blatantly performed under his name. This particular Blitz had a brief career that actually started after the real Blitz died in 1877, and ended in an insane asylum. The Boston Post printed his obituary in January of 1889, mistakenly reporting him as the real Signor Blitz, not even realizing that the real Blitz had died twelve years before.
Blitz, Frank
(?-1910) American-born son of Signor Blitz. Most known for his success as an exhibitor of oddities (like P.T. Barnum). His most famous exhibit was Marie-Christine, the celebrated black conjoined twins. (The twins insisted on being referred to as one person).
Blitz, Harry
(?-1915) American-born son of Signor Blitz. Performed his own show as "Haba Haba".
Blitz, Signor
(1810-1877) Extremely successful 19th century English-born but America-based magician. Using the stage name of Signor Blitz, his real name was Antoni van Zandt. At the height of his career, at least 13 other magicians were performing under the name "Blitz" in an effort to capitalize on his popularity. Multi-talented, Blitz was an accomplished ventriloquist, juggler and bird handler as well as an entertaining magician. His favorite effect was the Bullet Catching act, though he stopped performing the feat after a number of malicious audience-induced accidents. He also performed for several years in the 1870's with a magic act involving more than 500 canaries. Author of Fifty Years in the Magic Circle. His grave was recently "discovered" in New York by magician Benjilini, and has since been repaired and restored.
(?-?) Italian magician and water spouter who could swallow a great quantity of water, then spit it out as wine. His act must have been convincing, as he was forced by the Church to reveal the secret or be imprisoned for life.
Blumenfeld, Otto
(? -1906) German magician killed onstage performing the Bullet Catch act. Also known as "Bosco Blumenfeld".
Bobo, J.B.
(1910-1996) (birthday February 11) American magician and author of the definitive book on coin magic, Modern Coin Magic. Bobo also wrote books about creating shows for children. In his professional career, he performed more than 14,000 school shows.
Bonomo Magic Clown
Central character on an early children's television program with a circus magic theme, sponsored by Bonomo Turkish Taffy
Read about the Bonomo Magic Clown!

Name of a character assistant in the Alexander Herrmann show. Character was always played by an African-American assistant. One such assistant was M.H. Everett.

Booth, John
(b.1912) American nightclub magician, Unitarian minister. Conducted the funeral service of Eugene Laurent. Also climbed the Himalayas as well as interviewed Albert Schweitzer.
Bordner, Greg
(b.1951) American magician and owner of Abbott's Magic company. Son of Recil Bordner.
Bordner, Recil
(1910-1981) American magician, co-founder of Abbott's Magic Manufacturing Co. in Colon, Michigan with Percy Abbott. Abbott's was formed in 1933after the Abbott-Blackstone partnership dissolved. Abbott's became known as a distributor and manufacturer of affordable magic equipment, and also for the Abbott's Get-Togethers, the annual magic conventions held each August in Colon.
Borra, Boris
(1921-1998) Yugoslavian magician (real name Borislav Milojkovic) who specialized in a comedy pickpocket act, billed as "The Thief of Baghdad". He was a featured performer in a number of European circuses and made numerous television appearances as well.
Comedy character created as part of the LeRoy-Talma-Bosco act. Originated by Imro Fox in the Triple Alliance act with Servais LeRoy and Frederick Eugene Powell, Bosco was played successively by eight different actors, including Leon Bosco (where the character's name originated), Mac Laube, Daly, Wilmot Hastings, Dr. James William Elliott, Milton Barley, Thomas Mullins, and Gene LeRoy. When Leon Bosco was playing the part, Servais LeRoy invested a lot of money in posters, hoping to use them over a period of time. When Bosco left the show, it was decided that the subsequent actors would be costumed and made up to resemble the original Bosco, to match the posters. Bosco's most popular effect was pulling the heads off of a duck and a rooster, and restoring them with the wrong head on each bird.
Bosco, Bartolomeo
(1793-1863) Successful European magician, most popular between 1830 and 1850. His most famous trick was the Cups and Balls. Robert-Houdin gained some unfair publicity for himself when in 1838 he publicly criticized Bosco for "animal cruelty" after seeing him perform a trick in which he appeared to exchange the heads of two live chickens a black one for a white one. Robert-Houdin knew full well that the trick was an illusion, and was not harmfu to the animals in any way. Bosco died in poverty after subsidizing his son Eugene Bosco, for a number of years. In 1903, Houdini discovered Bosco's dilapidated grave. He purchased title to the plot, and deeded it to the Society of American Magicians, starting a tradition of fraternal grave guardianship th continues today, especially through the efforts of magician Benjilini. Bosco was so well-known that no less than five other magicians performed under that name after his death, in an attempt to capitalize on his fame.
Bosco, Eugene
(1815-1888) Son of Bartolomeo Bosco and a popular magician. Inventor of the Sand Frame. His career was cut short when he shot his right hand off in 1857. Like his father, he died in poverty. It is interesting to note that two other magicians using the "Bosco" name were victims of gun accidents.
Bosco, Italo
(?-?) Son of Eugene Bosco. Worked as a magic assistant to his father.
Bosco, Leon
(1793-1863) English music hall comedian who took over the comic character played by Imro Fox in the Triple Alliance act of LeRoy-Fox-Powell, when the act changed to LeRoy-Talma-Bosco. The character was then named "Bosco", though several other magicians subsequently played the part.
Bosco, Saint John
(1823-1891) Catholic Patron Saint of Magicians. Blessed with tremendous natural and supernatural gifts, including a wonderful sense of humor, Giovanni Bosco overcame overwhelming obstacles to help deprived children find a better life. Juggler, magician and acrobat, he used all of these to attract attention to his message of tolerance, patience of love of God. According to legend, a prayer was the price of admission to his shows. Founded the Salesian Society. His best pupil, Dominic Savio, also became a saint.
Boston, Anthony
(1911-1971) American nightclub magician and ventriloquist. Did a comedy two-person mindreading act with his puppet "Mr. Mysto".
Boston, George
(1905-1975) American magician who had a career as stage manager (and sometimes stage assistant) for the Duval Brothers (1924-28), Birch (1928), Howard Thurston (1928), Harry Thurston (1931-32), Carter (1933), Bird (1936), Mel-Roy (1937), Virgil (1937), Will Rock (1938), Nicola (1938) and Blackstone Sr. (1943). Taught magic to Tony Curtis for his role in the 1953 movie Houdini. Attended the Final Houdini Seance in 1937 with Bess Houdini, and provided the voice narration for the recording of the event. After being fired by so many top magicians because of his extreme moodiness and erratic behavior, he launched his own performing career as a mentalist. For a few years, he worked clubs as "Merlin, the Man of 1000 Mysteries". In 1948, he began a long employment at the Abbott's Magic Shop branch in Los Angeles.
Boughton, Leroy
(1888-1968) Brother of Harry Blackstone Sr. The strong comedian in a two-person vaudeville act with his brother, he eventually focused on the behind-the-scenes details of the Blackstone show, and was an important part of its success.
Boughton, Pete
(1839-1928) (birthday July 26) German magician who performed as "Ben Ali Bey", an Oriental character, and developed the Black Art act. Perhaps inspired DeKolta's own black art act.
Bowyer, Tom
(1902-1949) British-born Canadian magician who performed as "Van Russell". Invented the Repeat Dollar Bills effect.
(?-?) Seventeenth century English magician who was known for the rather bizarre trick of making a sketch of a real dove that was perched on a rooftop. When he stabbed the drawing, the real bird fell to the ground, dead. Understandably, this effect was alarming to those spectators who believed in witchcraft.
Brandon, Joan
(1914-1979) American nightclub magician, stage hypnotist and orchestra leader. Started her stage career at age 14, doing magic and playing clarinet (for a short while even forming her own orchestra) and worked vaudeville until the mid-1940s, when she created an all-female revue called "Ladies First", which featured her version of the "Think a Drink" act. By the 1950s, she had changed her focus to stage hypnotism. Her act was very successful. She even wrote several books on hypnosis as a form of thereapy.
Braue, Fred
(?-1962) Magician and magic author. Invented the Braue Reversal, a method of reversing a card while cutting the deck.
Brema, Carl
(1864-1942) (birthday February 2) German-born magic manufacturer (real name Karl Brehmer) whose Philadelphia company produced numerous precision-made brass apparatus, including the still-popular Nickels To Dimes effect, invented for Brema by Walter Gibson. Original Brema effects and Brema catalogs are very collectible today.
Brenon, John
(?-?) Billed as the Irish Wizard, he toured the Eastern United States throughout the late 1700s, moving to the US permanently by 1790. His specialty was the Bullet Catch- performed while he was balanced on a wire.
Brenon, Mrs. John
(?-?) Wife of the Irish Wizard. She was an expert manipulator, and is credited as being the first female magician to perform professionally in the United States (about 1787).
Breslaw, Philip
(1726-1783) German-born British magician credited with developing the Two Person Mental Act.
Brigg, Johannes
(Also spelled "Grigg") Late 17th Century Hungarian magician who excelled with his skills at Cups and Balls, despite the fact that he had only one hand. Even more amazing, he performed an equilibrist (balancing) act, even though he had no legs.
(?-?) American vaudeville stage magician and escape artist. Also known as "George Brindamoor".
Brodien, Marshall
(July 10, 1934 - March 8, 2019) American magician who pioneered the use of TV mass-marketing of magic effects with his wildly successful promotion of Svengali decks as TV MAGIC CARDS beginning in the 1960's. He has also had a very long run as Wizzo the Wizard (a comedy magician character) on the Bozo TV show on WGN-TV Chicago.
Brooke, Ken
(1920-1983) British magician and magic dealer. He was best known for providing exclusive effects and routines by the top names in magic.
Brooks, Herbert
(1873-1923) British stage magician and inventor of the Brooks Trunk, an escape illusion.
Brooks, Howard
(1909-1984) American comedy magician and actor, he is best known as the inventor of the Brassiere Trick.
Broome, Joseph
(?-?) German magician who was the subject of the first known advertisement for a magic act in America. The ad appeared in the March, 1734 issue of the New York Weekly Journal, and promoted Broome's "Wonders of the World by Dexterity of Hand".
Brown, Evans
(?-?) American magician, most popular in the 1920's, who worked the vaudeville and Chautauqua circuits. Inventor of a number of trick decks. According to his publicity materials, he was also an accomplished piano-accordionist and harpist.
Brown, Mabel
Wife and assistant to Del Adelphia
Read the biography of Mabel Brown!
(?-?) European magician who performed in the late 1800's. His colorful poster featured the typical magic illusions of multiplying animals, firebowls and flowers, and card manipulations. It appears, though, that this magician also featured a routine in which he produced silks through the open zipper of a gentleman's pants!
Brush, Charles "Baffles"
(?-1949) American amateur magician and author, well known in European magic circles for his contributions to the magic publications. When stage performer Edwin Brush died in 1967, the European magic press mistakenly reported that it was "Baffles" who had passed away; apparently they were not familiar with the American Chautauqua magician.
Brush, Edwin
(1874-1967) (birthday March 21) American magician whose greatest fame came on the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits. He was the first magician to appear in a tented Chautauqua show. Later in life, he developed a magic lecture that incorporated a religious message, which was also very successful. His distinguishing characteristic was his trademark upside-down mustache; he actually cut and trained his moustache hair to grow straight up, defying the laws of gravity and creating a rather unique appearance.
Buchinger, Matthew
(1674-1740) German-born magician known as "The Little Man of Nuremberg". An accomplished magician who specialized in the Cups and Balls as well as a musician and artist, his accomplishments are most noteworthy because he was born without arms or legs. In addition to performing magic, he was also known for his miniature paintings, so delicately done that he could write whole Bible verses in the drawing of the curls on the head.
Buckley, Arthur
(1890-1953) Australian-born magician, mentalist and author renowned for his incredible (and difficult to imitate) skills with cards. Early on, billed himself as "Young Dante, King of Koins". Later performed his card magic as "Mysto". Worked as a successful mentalist with his wife, Helen. Invented the Muscle Pass.
Burger, Eugene
(1939-2017) American magician and author, highly regarded for his closeup skills and his work in mentalism and bizarre magick. He was a main instructor at Jeff McBride's Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas. Considered "one of the 100 most influential magicians of the 20th century" by MAGIC magazine, he authored a number of popular books on closeup magic and mentalism.
Burgess, Clinton
Vaudeville magician and author who had a bitter feud with Houdini
Read the biography of Clinton Burgess- see images!
Burkhart, Melvin
(1907-2001) Legendary American sideshow magician. Master of the Human Blockhead act, in which he drove a large nail up his nose to its head. Taught the Paddle Move to Peter Monticup, owner of
Burlingame, H.J.
(1852-1915) Magic dealer and author (real name Hardin Jasper Burlingame). He sold magic apparatus under his own name and as George L. Williams and Co. He also sold equipment to mediums and stage mindreaders through the Ralph E. Sylvestre & Co. In addition, he authored a very comprehensive bibliography of important magic books, Bibliotheca Magica.
Burnette, Eddie
American nightclub magician with his wife, Lucille Burnette
Read the biography of Eddie Burnette- see image!
Burnette, Lucille
American female nightclub magician and manipulator with her husband, Eddie Burnette
Read the biography of Lucille Burnette- see image!
Burton, Lance
(b. 1960) Charismatic and popular American stage performer, he is exceptionally talented and polished. He has starred in several network TV specials and has portrayed magicians in a number of TV programs.
Bux, Kuda
(1910-1981) Pakistani magician (real name Khuda Bakhsh) who achieved worldwide fame, especially in the U.S., with his "sightless vision" act. Known as "The Man With the X-Ray Eyes". Despite elaborate blindfolds made of bread dough, gauze, putty, and tape, he was able to perform amazing acts like the famous Blindfold Drive, steering a speeding car through a busy street. He was one of the most requested acts on the 50's TV program "You Asked For It". Ironically, he suffered from very poor eyesight in his later years- but was still able to perform "sightless vision" without difficulty!